CRAFT: What kinds of crafts do you do?
Nikol: Knitting, sewing, needle felting, spinning, paper crafts, dyeing, needlepoint, crochet
CRAFT: Where do you craft?
Nikol: All over the place.
CRAFT: How do you all your craft supplies organized?
Nikol: I have various degrees of success in the ongoing battle to organize my supplies. I have the added challenge of managing all of the supplies and equipment for Yarn School and Felt School. And now that I also have a small spinner’s flock, I am constantly struggling to avoid being buried alive under a mountain of fiber.
My personal yarn and spinning fiber stashes are generally under control. I live in an old school building, and I’m lucky to have some lovely built-ins. My yarn stash is organized by weight and color in the cupboard paper slots of the old classroom that is now my bedroom. I also have full bags and cones on shelves. The cupboards below house hibernating WIP and spinning fiber, and some antique twin folding chairs hold whatever assortment I’m kidding myself I’m going to get to spinning any minute.
The school’s former Home Ec room, later the Science Lab, is now my craft room, and the room we use as our Dye Lab for Yarn School and Wet Felting Lab for Felt School. All of the built-in cupboards are crammed with craft supplies. I have an old index card filing cabinet that’s filled with small crafting items of all types. Look for a state surplus or used office furniture store to track down weird filing cabinets to organize your craft stuff. The index card filing cabinets and card catalogues are fantastic. My partner has a X-ray filing cabinet (like a regular cabinet but with oversided drawers) for storing records, and we use a lateral file in the pantry. The heavy duty drawers can take a lot of weight, and you can cram stuff all the way to the back of the shelf and still get to it when you roll it out. Filing cabinets even had little label slots.
CRAFT: How do you motivate yourself to keep your space organized?
Nikol: I have to admit this is a very weak area for me. My biggest motivator to organize? Procrastinating about something else I should really be doing. I like my procrastination to be purposeful, so when I’m avoiding my responsibilities, I’m freaking Martha Stewart. The rest of the time I’m more like someone you’d see on a very special Oprah.
CRAFT: What’s one organization tip/tool/trick you swear by?
Nikol: Keeping yarn organized by weight. I loved how Loopy Yarns in Chicago was organized by weight, and as soon as I got home from my visit, I reorganized my stash. It makes knitting from stash so much easier, and seeing what you have by weight keeps you inspired by what you already have.
CRAFT: How do you feel when your space is organized? Unorganized?
Nikol: Dreamy and fruitful. Embarrassed and anxious. I spend a lot more of my life in the latter state.
CRAFT: Describe your dream workspace.
Nikol: I actually already have my dream workspace. I don’t think anyone could ask for a better craft space than an old Home Ec room. The challenge is organizing my embarrassment of riches.
CRAFT: How does the way your craft space is organized affect your crafting/creativity?
Nikol: I frog a lot less when I’m organized. Having careful surroundings makes your work a lot less haphazard, so you think before you knit (or cut, or glue) and make fewer mistakes. Being organized also saves a lot of money. When I’m really disorganized, I spend a lot of money buying more of what I already have.